Thursday, 5 January 2012

Accent Tutoring- How to master American accents

Today I am going to give you some tips on how to speak in a general American accent and a deep southern American accent.

Vowels AEIOU
How the general sounds- Aey, Eee, I,y, (very silent 'y') O, ( like in word 'hold') Uw.
How the southern sounds- Ey (soft, like hey without 'h') ie, Ah, O'W', U

The general American accent I tend to speak through my throat and chest with defiantly a more croaky sound. If I place my hand on my chest I can feel my words vibrating compared to when I then change back to my English accent which comes from the mouth.  
The southern American accent is also in chest and throat but is more slurred and can be husky. When pronouncing words let your mouth open wider to really hear those twangy words, eg- 'thy'at instead of 'that'.

Main differences
Letter T changes to 'D' when in the middle of words (butter- budder)

Letter R is always pronounced ('there' becomes 'they'er' in southern and 'they' r' in general which is less stressed) 
The American 'R' makes the tip of your tongue curve but it doesn't touch anywhere in the mouth. It is in the throat.
Words like 'cot' and 'caught' sound the same and 'meddle' and 'mettle'.

In the southern accent the letter 'I' changes to an 'A'  in words like hi- ha.

Phrases used 
 ‘It's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all’
General- Its, Bedder to have love'd an larst then to nev'ur have love'd aat all

'A friend is someone who is there for you when he'd rather be somewhere else.'
Southern- Ah frend is someone 'hwho is they'er for ya when 'heed rather be someway'er else.   

I would recommend having a look at the film 'Fried Green Tomatoes' there are some great southern accents in it. 'Or Gone with the Wind,' which has a more old fashioned southern accent.

For your general American, anything you find on TV or many blockbuster films have a broad range of american accents in. look at a soap like 'The O.C'.

And most importantly have fun and practice over and over again!


  1. 1, Yes I agree with you on this. There are lots, and lots of accents here In the US, and they do differ from town to city, from coast to coast. Some are strong, and some are weak especially If you live In the mid-west, and others are cosmopolitan meaning they have moved around, and sound different yet again.

    2, I think you did really good here, and you really do sound, American. I know what you sound like through your native tongue, and I can hear through this what your Intending to pursue, and you did Incredibly well Indeed.

    3, You`re a natural Joanna with potential to becoming anything your heart desires.

    4, Be patient. Listen, observe, and take In what the speaker Is speaking.

  2. Thank you Louie, I wondered what you would think! You be an American your self!
    I hope I did okay :)))

  3. You did better than good, and I am so proud of you, please know.

  4. You know, the Philippines is under great American influence, so most people here could only recognize the American accents, and we almost don't know about any other accents like Australian, New Zealander (but we recognize the RP British accent when we hear it) ..

    And I say that you really did so well in your video!!! I think that you don't follow any "rule" in order to be good in speaking with an American accent. I could tell that it's just too natural for you to speak in any accent! :)

    Listen to this wonderful song! I really like it (partly because of the accent) but I could not tell what accent is it. Maybe it is an accent from Texas?

  5. Dear Jo,

    I have watched a number of your videos. You have enormous talent and charm. I find your videos soothing and uplifting. Your cover of Erin Grá Mo Chroí is simply gorgeous. I admire your ear for accents. I like when you do that lilting Southern American accent. And you do the most magnificent spot on impersonation of Margaret Thatcher.

    I am wondering if you have any interest in visiting America. I would be happy to show you around Philadelphia, Princeton, New York and Washington, DC. I could potentially help you get gigs performing in cabarets and coffee houses. I have a friend who performs regularly. She's on a tour of the West Coast right now. Below is her website.

    P.S. Are you attending university?